This book was so well written. His descriptions are so clear, I felt as if I was watching the scene take place instead of just reading about past events. I was able to feel his emotions through the pages. My heart hurt for him, but maybe I've come away with just a bit more understanding of his life.
This book is in no way a slam of the military or the Iraq war, regardless of what others might have said. John Crawford knew what his duty was, he performed his duty well, and hats off to him and the others who risk their lives.
From the moment I read my first review of the book, I was very eager to read this story. My Grandson served two tours of duty in Iraq with the marines and I asked him to keep a journal or send letters home about his daily doings. But he shares a dislike of writing along with the rest of his generation. He did send brief emails, but they werent very newsy either. Thus I was very eager to hear what someone else of his age had to say about being in Iraq during this time. The book did not disappoint. John Crawford writes in a very narrative manner as if hes just having a conversation with someone. It begins with a brief description of his life up to that point. He joined the Florida National Guard in order to pay for college. He had two credits left before earning his degree. He had just married when he was called up.while on his honeymoon. I got so into the story of John's trials and tribulations that I found myself thinking back to it long after the I finished reading.
Some will not like this book because of the negative portrayal of some of the men and leaders that John Crawford served with. The truth is the uniform represents an ideal, but it is men with all their baggage that fills them. Crawford serves in the Florida National Guard during his tour (which became an extended tour) and he has some strong views about everything from the war, to the men, to the equipment, to the Florida National Guard. I know this is not every service person's experience, but I wonder how many come back feeling the same way Crawford does. It is worth reading to get a dose of the reality of the Iraq war.
"John Crawford is a young man from Florida who joined the National Guard to help pay for his college, and then found himself suddenly...thrust into the middle of the invasion of Iraq as a member of the Army National Guard. Crawford always understood that he might have to serve his country during a time of war, but the conflict in Iraq is not at all what he expected.
Crawford writes about his military experiences and doesn't pull any punches. His writing is raw and visceral, full of emotion and pathos. He is openly critical of both the military establishment and the botched military plans of the Iraq conflict.
Another admirable note is that Crawford decided that while writing this book he wanted to remove politics from his story telling, or avoid what he calls "Monday morning quarterbacking" regarding the politics involved." amazon